It’s that time of the month again when I pick up my pen (figuratively) and take to the ether to air my views on a few things.
On Thursday I received an email that my new passport was ready for collection and it was possible to have it delivered instead of having to go through to London to collect it. As a result I had to go into the post office on Saturday to buy the necessary envelopes and to post the completed letter and it was not a pleasant experience. Going into a warm building from the cold outside usually fogs my glasses up immediately, and this is also exacerbated by a brisk ride on my bike and made even worse by the mask. I was unable to see anything and I was fumbling and bumbling trying to hear and see what the person behind the counter was trying to say. Once I had the envelope I then had to fill out the addresses which I could not do in the post office and ended up doing on a wheelie bin outside. I then had to go through the whole process a second time just to post the items. I really felt helpless behind that impenetrable fog in front of my eyes, and things were not made easier by the general atmosphere in the post office. Let us hope that I did not mess it all up.
And here is the weather (or it was like this shortly after the sun rose). By midday this was no longer true.
I had a hearing test recently and am going to have to see an audiologist to be fitted for a hearing aid. The hearing in my right ear has been poor ever since my first 6 months in the SADF. It was exacerbated by army doctors that did not believe that there was a problem. This is now coming back to haunt me as hearing does decline with age, and the damage to the nerve endings of my right ear has meant that I can hear even less than somebody of my age group. This is very noticeable in conversations where I tend to miss out the beginnings of words. Most sounds in speech fall within what is termed “The Speech Banana” and hearing loss within the speech banana in adults can hinder communication capabilities, and I have experienced this quite a lot in the past few years. It is early days yet because getting an appointment with an audiologist can take a long time so I may just have to resort to an ear trumpet until then.
The UK is officially out of lockdown (for now) and as usual the first thing everybody does is gather together and party or shop which pretty much negates any gains made by the lockdown. According to the papers the vaccine could be rolled out as early as next week, although the logistics of that are huge. Going by what I have read I may end up getting it sometime in January, although given that locally we were unable to get a flu shot from our local surgery until last week I do have my doubts.
The numbers game:
The USA still leads the pack with 14,983,425 cases and 287,825 deaths, with the UK at number 7 with 1,705,971 and 61,014 deaths. South Africa is at number 17 with 810,449 and 22,067 deaths. If we look at the numbers from a deaths perspective The USA is still number 1, UK is number 5 and SA is number 14. Worldwide there are 66,875,143 cases with 1,534,806 deaths.
Consecutive numbers? I kid you not.
And while on the subject of numbers, The South African Lottery probably entered the record books this past week when 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 were “drawn”. It immediately drew masses of comments about it being rigged. I have long suspected that something was fishy in the lottery as it regularly threw out consecutive numbers, often twice in a draw. The Daily Mail in the UK posted the following which I found interesting: “The official chances of winning the South African lottery, where six numbers are drawn from 1 to 52, are 20,358,520 to 1. No six-number combination is any more or less likely than any other. But the chances of the winning numbers consisting of six consecutive digits (eg 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52) is 47/20,358,520 – or 0.00023%. Thus, non-consecutive results are likely to occur 99.99977% of the time.”.
More interesting mathematical solutions were also discussed on MyBroadband. I was not aware that the Bonus Ball was drawn a pool of 20 numbers, leaving 15 possible sequences of 6 consecutive numbers. To calculate the odds of drawing a consecutive sequence of numbers in PowerBall, we simply divide the total possible combinations by the total number of possible consecutive sequences: 42375200 ÷ 15 = 2825013, Therefore, the odds of seeing any consecutive series of numbers in PowerBall is 1 in 2.8 million or 0.00004%.
I leave you to draw your own conclusions.
That’s my muttering for now. It looks cold outside but I may go and hunt down some food just now. I just need to get the washing done. I have bought a dehumidifier to help with the drying and I tried it yesterday and there was a definite improvement in drying times and the flat felt much warmer too. I will see how it goes today and post about this later. Back in South Africa drying the washing happened very quickly and I rarely had to revert to the tumble dryer.
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